There are some people out there (you know who you are) who refer to me as “Ravinia Bob.” Over time, this nickname was been truncated to “RivB,” and eventually “Riv2theB.”
Why? Because I’ve made some lifelong friends over the years attending many events at the Highland Park concert venue — particularly during the summer of Gypsy and Patti LuPone.
Actually, any Ravinia season that featured my favorite Broadway diva has been a summer of celebration and merriment. Sadly, la LuPone has been absent from Ravinia for the past season, as have I. But, according to this recent announcement, she’s making her grand return! And performing “the biggest songs and arias” alongside proud lesbian soprano Patricia Racette.
I hope they do duets — I’m envisioning “A Boy Like That/I Have a Love” from West Side Story and/or “We are Women” from Candide.
And guess what? This event isn’t even the most thrilling thing. I literally gay gasped when I read this part:
“Ann Hampton Callaway and the acclaimed jazz group the John Pizzarelli Quartet will join forces with the CSO, conducted by Ted Sperling, to pay tribute to songwriter Harold Arlen in a program titled Over the Rainbow on Aug. 5.”
I adore me some AHC, and I can’t wait to hear her smokey vocals backed up by the CSO singing Arlen tunes. It’s going to be an event, people.
It’ll also be my first time seeing the legendary Barbara Cook live and in person, so there’s that.
(Oh, and I couldn’t care less about Idina Menzel and her “Barefoot at the Symphony” nonsense. Put your shoes back on, lady, and stick to making your crappy pop albums.)
So are you ready for Ravinia 2012? I know I am! Get your tickets and meet me on our lawn blanket in our usual spot. And hopefully this year I don’t punch no one out. Riv2theB lives!